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  • : frank beswick
  • : The blog of Frank Beswick. It deals with my interests in religious, philosophical spiritual matters and horticulture/self-reliance
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May 23 2011 2 23 /05 /May /2011 15:08

Writing a thesis involves being clear about your subject matter, your research question and your conclusion. You need to conform to all academic requirements appropriate to publishing research papers. Important elements such as the bibliography, index and glossary must be included.

How to write a good thesis

Writing dissertations

You may be facing the challenge of writing a doctoral thesis or a Ph.D. dissertation. Firstly, clarify your research question with your tutor to ensure that it is workable in the time available. Make sure that your thesis abstract specifies the question, the research methods and the conclusion reached. Then, ensure that you are absolutely clear in your own mind about what you want to say since unclear thoughts produces poor writing.

Planning your work

Rushing through the conclusion, or ending your thesis a couple of days before deadline is always a danger. Schedule your research work and writing as per a realistic timetable. You may wish to write one section or chapter at a time and then have it read over. Ensure that your introduction is carefully done and that it clearly defines the research question. This step is important since a weak or confused introduction can confuse the whole project. Be sure to have enough time to amend mistakes, if any.

The conclusion

The conclusion is important. Some theses can have quite weak conclusions, so make sure that your conclusion is strong enough. A mere summary of what was to be said is insufficient. Since a conclusion draws on material from the thesis, you should not include new arguments but rather discuss the existing ones. Do not be too committed your conclusion since you will have to discuss the degree to which further research can be added to your ideas.

Academic requirements

Academic writing

Academic writing requires that you back up your arguments with evidence. This means that you need to include a comprehensive bibliography in your thesis. If you refer to any passage that is located in a particular book, include the necessary footnotes.

Make sure that your references and footnotes conform to academic conventions. You need to state the page, author, publisher and date and place of publication. Ideally, footnotes will go at the bottom of the page. You might also include a glossary of terms and an index.

Final word

The services of professionals are highly useful. Using a proof reader or copy editor is important because it is not very easy to spot one's own mistakes. Similarly, you should have the thesis prepared by a binding service. This is especially important for doctoral theses, as they are stored in the university library. You might also seek the services of a professional indexer.

Master’s Thesis

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